Ah, social media. Isn’t it weird how, not that long ago, such a thing didn’t even exist?

Well, like Churchill always said, nostalgia is for fools and nursemaids. So let’s talk a bit about modern social media–specifically, how to measure the impact of a social media campaign on your business.

Everyone knows that social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook can, if used properly, significantly improve a company’s brand visibility, number of leads, and profitability. The number of active social media users is set to hit 4.41 billion by 2025, rendering such platforms a goldmine for attracting new customers. (This is, of course, why almost every company on earth is looking into running some kind of social media campaign, if they aren’t doing so already.)

But that word, “properly,” is crucial. Because you can also try and try to use social media for your company, spend a lot of time and energy and money on it, and get bupkus. One reason for this is because measuring social media marketing’s return-on-investment (ROI) is notoriously difficult, particularly for businesses that lean heavily on organic methods rather than pay per click (PPC) campaigns. Without certifiable figures to demonstrate the success of social campaigns, some marketing managers struggle to convey the value of their hard work to their clients or other colleagues.

Fortunately, there are many tools out there to get the job done, such as Google Analytics or about five million other apps. These tools have made it possible to closely track how social media influences the success of your overall marketing efforts. By analyzing the right metrics, you will give yourself the best chance of creating a highly effective social media campaign.

Which Metrics Should I Track?

The types of metrics you track should align with your specific goals and budgetary constraints. For example, if you work for an e-commerce brand that invests heavily in Facebooks ads, measuring ROI should be relatively straightforward. At its most basic level, you can simply divide the revenue generated by PPC conversions by the cost of the Facebook ads, multiplying the number by 100 to attain a percentage.

With paid campaigns, it may also help to measure your profit per impression or profit per click, as these figures will help you ascertain which types of ads are working and which ones require optimization.

Outside of trackable PPC campaigns, however, measuring ROI can begin to get a little tricky. Organic brand awareness techniques such as posting statuses, engaging with platform users, and running social competitions help build a thriving and sustainable business model. However, consumer awareness does not always lead to immediate sales. To track the efficacy of an awareness campaign, you should assess the following:

  • Reach: This measures the size of the audience with whom you communicate. A broad reach means lots of people know about your brand.
  • Impressions: Impressions tell you how many people saw a post–though the vast majority most likely didn’t click on your ad.
  • Engagement: This includes the number of shares, likes, and comments on a post. High engagement levels may mean people are excited by your brand and signal that your social presence is likely to grow. It may also mean that the content on one specific post–such as the picture, or the caption–is engaging, and you can use this as a marker for which direction to go in future campaigns.
  • Conversions: Conversions represent the number of people who completed your desired action, such as signing up for a free trial, paying for a product, completing a form, or referring others to your website or landing page. This metric represents one of the most insightful ways to measure return on investment for organic strategies, especially since it doesn’t rely on revenue only. You may find that measuring referrals is almost as valuable as measuring immediate sales, as referrals might lead to future growth far beyond your current sales.

Calculating Social Media Spend

Naturally, you must also measure how much money you funnel into organic social media methods if you want to obtain an approximate ROI. Factors to consider include:

  • Cost of platforms and tools: Many social media platforms are free, but you may wish to pay for a premium version or add-ons.
  • Content creation costs: These may include the cost of freelance writers, in-house writers, editors, or content strategists.
  • Time spent by social media staff: This represents how long it takes to create and monitor a campaign, as well as all the valuable time spent running reports, optimizing, and reading genius-level blog posts like this one.

Should I pay for ads or rely on organic methods?

According to recent stats, 74% of brands claim that PPC campaigns drive significant profits. While social ads might drive quick revenue, there’s no question that brand awareness is vital for maintaining a loyal customer base and securing long-term growth. Just think of all the brands that built their empires before social media existed, after all: Disney, Nike, Coca-Cola–they built their empires on brand awareness. (Well, to be fair, Coca-Cola also put cocaine in their soda, but that’s another story.) In any case, we strongly advise that brands combine both methods; that is, utilize both paid / PPC campaigns and strong organic strategies.

Need Help With Social Campaigns? Reach Out to Mandel Marketing for Advice you can Trust.

Analyzing and building social campaigns can be hard work. If you hope to lighten your load while driving sales and engagement, Mandel Marketing is ready and waiting to help. Contact us today to find out more and discuss your options.